Accessibility prioritized in Vancouver Pride Parade’s new route
Posted August 4, 2023 2:20 pm.
This year’s Vancouver Pride Parade will look a little different compared to previous years.
The parade itself will begin at 12 p.m. on Sunday at Davie and Denman streets. It will continue down Beach Street and to Pacific Boulevard before ending at Concord Community Park, near the end of False Creek.
The route will be nearly twice as long as the old route, and for the first time, ventures outside of the West End.
The old 2.1-kilometre route began on Robson Street and made its way down Denman Street before finishing with a festival at Sunset Beach.
Instead of ending at the popular sandy spot, this year’s parade will end at Concord Community Park, right off the Seawall near BC Place.
A key reason behind the change was accessibility. Zac Remple, Vancouver Pride Society’s events manager, says the organization did an audit of the old site’s accessibility parameters.
“This whole place is accessible … via mobility device or wheelchair,” Remple said.
“The hills at Sunset Beach were too inaccessible and there were a lot of folks who just can’t access that site and want to be a part of Pride,” he told CityNews.
“So we really emphasized this year finding a space that works for everybody.”
Along the parade route, Remple says there will be accessible viewing points for seniors and people with mobility challenges. At the halfway point of the parade path, the Yaletown Roundhouse Community Centre will have a low-sensory area for people to stop off for a break.
At the festival grounds at Concord Community Park, Remple says there will also be parameters in place for the myriad of stages, vendors, and activities.
“We’ll have low sensory spaces. We’re emphasizing harm reduction, accessible viewing zones. We have (sign language) interpreters on all our stages. It’s really about making Pride as accessible as possible for everybody this year,” he said.
The festival grounds will be home to events on Saturday and Sunday evenings as part of the Pride celebrations.